Lulu Li


I defended my PhD thesis in December, 2016!! Slides can be viewed here (preferably chrome; use Page Up or Down to move forward and backward). I worked in the MIT Computational Reactor Physics Group (CRPG), and my advisors were Kord Smith and Benoit Forget.

I graduated in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Math, where I was advised by Kevin T Pitts. I performed undergraduate research with Rizwan Uddin from the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE).

I can be reached by email at

Lecture notes

Click on Lecture Notes to see notes compiled during grad school. If you are not familiar with the course number system, course 15 is Sloan/business, course 16 is Aerospace Engr, course 18 is Math, and course 22 is Nuclear Engr.

Shortcuts and descriptions of the core nuclear courses are:


My research interests lie in reactor physics. I have been working on developing advanced low-order method to accelerate solving the transport equations. Here is a poster of this research, and you can find my MS thesis pdf under "publications."

I worked on developing an open source method of characteristics code for reactor physics analysis with two other graduate students (awaiting for MIT license to go through before it can be publicly available; if you are a CRPG member, you have access to our private repo OpenMOC and OpenMOC-LOO). See "publications" for our paper published on annals of nuclear energy.

Prior to graduate school, I worked on various fun projects, including "Optimization of the blanket geometry for SFR" with Prof. Forget summer of 2010 (pdf report), "Investigation of the feedback mechanisms and calculation of the Doppler coefficients and sodium coefficients" with Prof. George Apostolakis summer of 09 (jpg poster), and "Electrostatic binary orbits in Weightlessness" through NASA's Microgravity University Program with the publication: "Orbital dynamics of two electrically charged conducting spheres," American Journal of Physics, 78(10), 1002-1006 (2010).


"LOO: a low-order nonlinear transport scheme for acceleration of methods of characteristics." L. Li, K. Smith, B. Forget and R. Ferrer. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology. July 2015.

"Techniques for stabilizing coarse-mesh finite difference (CMFD) in methods of characteristics (MOC)." L. Li, K. Smith, and B. Forget. Joint International Conference on Mathematics and Computation (M&C), Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications (SNA) and the Monte Carlo (MC) Method. Nashville, TN. April 19-23, 2015.

"A low order nonlinear transport acceleration scheme for the method of characteristics." L. Li, K. Smith, B. Forget and R. Ferrer. PHYSOR 2014. Kyoto, Japan. Sept. 28 - Oct. 3rd, 2014.

"PINSPEC: A Monte Carlo code for pin cell spectral calculations for educational applications." W. Boyd, N. Gibson, S. Shaner, L. Li, J. Hunter, K. Smith, and B. Forget. PHYSOR 2014. Kyoto, Japan. Sept. 28 - Oct. 3rd, 2014.

"The OpenMOC method of characteristics neutral particle transport code." W. Boyd, S. Shaner, L. Li, K. Smith, and B. Forget. Annals of Nuclear Energy. June 2014.

Master Thesis on Low-Order Operator (LOO) transport acceleration. MIT. Sept 2013.


Teaching, leadership positions

Awards, recognition, and whatever that does not fit elsewhere

Locations of Site